Mixing alcohol and Adderall can be extremely dangerous, but unfortunately, it’s something many people do without realizing the risks. Research indicates a significant percentage of people who use Adderall do so with alcohol. One study found that 46.4 percent of students who used a non-medical prescription stimulant (NMPS)(i.e., an illicitly used prescription), like Adderall, used alcohol simultaneously.
Adderall is a prescription, brand-name stimulant drug. Adderall is prescribed primarily for the treatment of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Adderall is a schedule II controlled substance, indicating its abuse and addiction potential.
Adderall is a combination medication that contains dextroamphetamine and amphetamine. When someone uses it as prescribed, it helps them focus and control their behavior. Less commonly, Adderall is prescribed for the treatment of narcolepsy, a sleep disorder that makes it hard for someone to stay awake during the day.
When someone uses Adderall recreationally, it can increase their energy levels. It can make them more talkative and social, it can give them increased self-confidence and it can reduce the need for sleeping and eating.
Can I Take Adderall with Alcohol?
Can you drink alcohol with Adderall? You should never drink alcohol with Adderall. Adderall is a stimulant, while alcohol is a central nervous system depressant. The two can interact negatively with one another, leading to serious and potentially deadly side effects.
Why Is It Dangerous?
Because Adderall is a stimulant and alcohol is a depressant, some people falsely believe the two cancel the effects of one another out. In reality, there are two oppositional substances in the body trying to compete with each other.
Adderall increases the effects of certain brain neurotransmitters including dopamine and norepinephrine. On the other hand, alcohol decreases the effects of these neurotransmitters and slows down the functions of the brain and body.
The dangers of Adderall and alcohol include alcohol poisoning and heart problems. If someone is using Adderall for ADHD, alcohol can make the symptoms of that disorder worse as well.
When someone uses alcohol with Adderall, the Adderall may mask the symptoms of drunkenness. This effect makes it harder to realize when someone has had too much to drink, so they’re at a greater risk of experiencing alcohol poisoning or being in an accident related to drinking too much.
Mixing Adderall and Alcohol: What Happens in the Body?
Individually, we know what alcohol and Adderall do to the body. But what do they do to the body when they’re combined? Knowing the side effects can better help you identify the potentially deadly combination in others.
Adderall and alcohol side effects include:
- High blood pressure
- Increased body temperature
- Increased heart rate
- Significantly reduced inhibitions and self-control
- Changes in mood and behavior
- Alterations in cognitive function
Find Help for Adderall Addiction
For anyone struggling with Adderall addiction, help is available. Contact Columbus Recovery Center to learn more about substance abuse and addiction treatment programs. Speak to a representative on the 24-hour hotline to find out how individualized treatment programs can address your addiction and any co-occurring disorders.
Morris, Susan York. “Dangers of Mixing Adderall and Alcohol.” Healthline. July 29, 2016. Accessed March 1, 2019.
Huizen, Jennifer. “Is It Safe to Drink Alcohol While Taking Adderall.” Medical News Today. April 19, 2019. Accessed March 1, 2019.
US National Library of Medicine. “Simultaneous use of non-medical ADHD prescription stimulants and alcohol among undergraduate students.” July 1, 2013. Accessed March 21, 2019.
Medical Disclaimer: The Recovery Village Columbus aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.